Thursday, November 24, 2011

Watching sports with a SecondScreen

I realize is Thanksgiving Day and that I should be focused on Turkey and football, not a blog.  However, I had a neighbor ask me an interesting question earlier today--"what is the best app to watch football with?"  I thought about all of the apps out there trying to do something with video and even spent a few moments previously and again today on some of those apps.  Here are some quick thoughts:

First, all of the apps key off live information, which is probably the most likely use case for any user.  So, if you had to Tivo/DVR the game, any one of these apps is going to spoil the ending for you right away by showing the final score.

Second, none of the apps use any kind of sync technology (other than the real time nature of the live event) to bring relevant information to the screen (in other words, it's great for scores, stats, and Twitter updates, but not contextual content).  Ironically, in this use case, the eBay app works because it picks up the two opposing teams for appropriate team paraphernalia.

Also, in terms of evaluation, keep in mind that none of these will control your 1st screen (Simple), they have varying elements of Social via Twitter and Facebook updates, no real Seamless integration, plenty of Stimulating content (scores, play-by-play, graphics, etc), and the only Discovery element is what teams are in the RedZone (NFL '11) or any alerts you have configured for your teams.  Stimulating doesn't cover commerce (buy the t-shirt or hat) and no contextual adds.  Still, isn't that the point of watching a live game (to be focused on the game)?

- IntoNow.  As I noted in an earlier blog, they do a decent job on major sports showing current score/stats, relevant comments from Friends and Everyone during the game, and usually a relevant Twitter feed (The Dallas game feed is somehow keyed to the whole NFL).  You can "check-in" and share comments, etc.

- ESPN Scorecenter XL.  Has all of the scores, play-by-play, and alerts for your teams for many global sports.  No play graphics, no audio stream.  Plenty of team video highlights as the game goes on/finishes.

- NFL '11.  Not surprising, the best 2nd screen app for today's games.  It not only has the score, the stats, but has a live play-by-play graphic, play-by-play commentary, near-live highlight videos, and an option for live a live audio feed.  Missing better Twitter and Facebook integration (for this app, I would expect at the play level during the play-by-play updates).

- NBA Courtside, MLB At Bat.  While neither is in season, they are both similarly engaging as the NFL '11 app.  The Courtside app gives you a graphic showing you where the shots occurred, who is on the leader board for points, rebounds, etc.  At Bat shows you the pitch-by-pitch speeds and location and has plenty of up to date player stats while you are watching.  They did a Fifa WorldCup app previously as well (graphics, scores, stats, alerts0, video highlights).

Other apps where I am less experienced:

- NFL SundayTicket.  Requires a DirecTV Sunday Ticket subscription.  Really designed as a 1st screen app.

- CBS Sports.  Very similar to the ESPN app. Give you scores, stats, and play-by-play (plus graphics) for many global sports.  Has some rudimentary Facebook and Twitter integration.

- Yahoo Sportacular.  Similar to CBS Sports app.  Good graphics.  Good play by play.  Does major global sports.  No audio fee.

- theScore.  Looks very, very similar to the Yahoo Sportacular app.  Almost too similar.  Same global sports, similar graphics, stats, and play-by-play.

- Scoremobile.  Not really designed to be a SecondScreen app.  Designed to be the 1st screen substitute when you can't watch the game.  Great play-by-play feeds, odds presentation, pre-game highlights, etc.

A smattering of sports apps.  Should give you an idea of what is out there today.  Enjoy the turkey!


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